Willie Garson died in 2021 ahead of 'And Just Like That's' first season premiere.
Spoiler alert! If you haven't seen season 2, episode 10 of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, proceed with caution.
Though actor Willie Garson died in real life in September 2021 after a private battle with pancreatic cancer, his beloved Sex and the City character, Stanford Blatch, is alive and well on And Just Like That.
Garson filmed several episodes of the Max reboot's first season before his unexpected death, and at the time, the show explained his exit with the character leaving to follow one of his influencer clients to Japan and asking his husband, Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone), for a divorce.
Since then, there have been several references to Stanford — in the season 2 premiere episode, Carrie wears a kimono that she says he sent her — but on Thursday's episode, Stanny's storyline seemed to have a clear end note.
Outside of the central relationships and drama going on within Thursday's episode, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) asks Anthony over to her apartment, telling him that Stanford wanted her to speak with him.
"Really? That's nice. Over a year without a word. Where's Bald-O now?" Anthony quips.
"He's back in Japan in Kyoto. He went to see the geishas. And he's staying," Carrie says gently.
"So, what, he's Japanese now?" Anthony asks.
"Kind of. He's a Shinto monk," Carrie says, showing Anthony a photo of Stanford wearing a monk's robe.
"Good Photoshop, what's the bit?" Anthony asks.
But Carrie assures him that Stanford found his calling and has decided to become a monk. She reads aloud the message from their friend, saying, "My lawyers have enclosed all the legal work needed. The apartment and all of my belongings are now his. I want no attachments. I have let go of all things that no longer serve me and I let it all go with love."
Anthony, who is currently in the middle of a complicated romance with a younger, well-endowed Italian poet, is impressed by Stanford's willingness to give up things that no longer serve him, applying it to his own sex life.
The friends cheers "to Stanny" in the same spot where they originally discussed his move to Japan, and this time there seems to be a finality in the moment.
Back in December 2021, Cantone spoke with ET about the loss of Garson ahead of the show's premiere.
"I'm thrilled to be here, and I'm sad too because I miss Willie," Cantone told ET. "I'm really sad about this, so it's a weird thing, you know? We're doing this for him. We made it through. We just held onto each other and we did it."
In February 2022, show creator Michael Patrick King told Variety his original plans for Stanford's storyline.
"Stanford was going to have a midlife crisis," King revealed to Variety. "Stanford's character always had a borderline career as a manager, and we were like going to explore the fact that it wasn't a real career. It was going to be Carrie and him, feeling the shifts. Anthony and him were probably going to have split anyway."
Stanford isn't the only character in the SATC universe who had to be creatively written in. Samantha Jones has had an off-screen presence in the franchise due to Kim Cattrall's initial unwillingness to join the cast. It has since been revealed that Cattrall will make a brief on-screen cameo in next week's season 2 finale during a phone call with Carrie.
New episodes of And Just Like That stream Thursdays on Max.